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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Paradigm Studio 20 v3 vs. B&W cdm 1NT

    any thoughts on these two speakers? thanks.

  2. #2
    RGA
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    Well the V3 is brand new and the CDM 1NT is about 5 years running and has been discontinued.

    The V3 some have said is improved some have said has gotten worse...so it depends where the improvement is. The V2 Studio 20 was light in the bass for the money spent IMO and sounds brittle in the highs probably because of the lack of bass and dynamics. I greatly prefer the Studio 40.

    Frankly, I would look for a speaker using a non metal tweeter and when you audition focus in on the highs. I don't mean frequency extension but listen to a point or two below the top of the extremes. I dfound the B&W to exhibit a suckout in the upper midrange and int the 20 V2 a general ringing. The V3 still uses the same technology in the tweeter though changes have been made. B&W's replacement for CDM is the 700 series.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular Registered Member 46minaudio's Avatar
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    Not listened to the v3 but side by side I prefered the 20v2 from top to bottom...

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Never did audition the B&W CDM series since it was out of my price range, but I can tell you that the Studio 20 v.3 is one of the best all around speakers I've heard in a long time. I have a Studio 40/CC/20 v.2 setup, and I can tell you that the v.3 series is a notable step up in every department except the bass extension. But, even there it's more of an addition by subtraction because what v.3 series loses in bass extension, it more than makes up in the articulation and clarity in the low frequencies. It's a little less punchy, but the layering and differentiation between low frequency sounds is outstanding.

    But, the one area where I think the Studio 20 v.3 really stands out is in the imaging and soundstaging. With my best two-channel test discs, the Studio 20 v.3 imaged better than just about anything I've ever heard outside of panel speakers only without the shortcomings of those designs, and the soundstage is exceptionally wide. The overall tonal balance is excellent, and you don't lose detail in the highs (personally, I've never noted any major problems with ringing in the Studio series).

    Among the B&Ws I've auditioned (the 600 S2, CM, and Nautilus series), they uniformly have great tonal balance and are a little more subdued in character than comparable Paradigms. One area where I think those B&Ws were deficient compared to the Paradigm Studio series was in the imaging. The B&Ws have a somewhat narrower dispersion pattern, less precise imaging, and a smaller sounding soundstage. It really comes down to personal preference, and rather than asking us, you should try them out and decide for yourself.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Well the V3 is brand new and the CDM 1NT is about 5 years running and has been discontinued.

    The V3 some have said is improved some have said has gotten worse...so it depends where the improvement is. The V2 Studio 20 was light in the bass for the money spent IMO and sounds brittle in the highs probably because of the lack of bass and dynamics. I greatly prefer the Studio 40.
    In general, the negative comments I've read about the v.3 have had more to do with the perceived build quality (or more specifically, the lighter weight of the v.3 series), and on that point the v.3 seems less ruggedly constructed than the v.2 models. But, on the sound quality, the only deficiency with the v.3 compared to the v.2 is in the bass extension and punchiness. However, as I noted, that's addition by subtraction in that what bass there is now sounds much better differentiated than before.

    As an owner of both the Studio 20 and 40 v.2s, I agree that the Studio 40 is a better all around speaker, but the differences I've noted are not in the highs (I don't know where the brittleness in the highs would come from because they use identical tweeters and crossover points) but in the mids and bass. The 40 has noticeably better resolution in the midrange and a fuller sounding low end.

    Given a choice between the v.3 20 and 40 however, I think it's a much harder choice because the imaging on those Studio 20 v.3s is about as good as I've heard anywhere near that price class and definitely better than the Studio 40 v.3. The Studio 40 v.3 still has an advantage in the midrange and lows, but the Studio 20 v.3 has made bigger strides in that area.

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    Frankly, I would look for a speaker using a non metal tweeter and when you audition focus in on the highs. I don't mean frequency extension but listen to a point or two below the top of the extremes. I dfound the B&W to exhibit a suckout in the upper midrange and int the 20 V2 a general ringing. The V3 still uses the same technology in the tweeter though changes have been made. B&W's replacement for CDM is the 700 series.
    Well, I would prefer to focus on the overall tonal balance, and pay closer attention to the imaging and transparency, because that's really where the Studio 20 v.3 has elevated itself well into world class territory IMO, and where the B&Ws I've listened to have fallen a bit short. The v.3 tweeter is different in that they have gone to a lighter weight material in the metal dome, and they slightly bumped up the crossover point for the tweeter, which means that the tweeter is handling less of the load than before.

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